Published December 4, 2014
By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
Traveling, taking a trip away from home, or visiting family is a normal part of the holiday season. The Belton Police Department is helping to keep Belton and its residents safe by offering the Home Watch Program as well as the E-Watch Program.
All you have to do to participate in the Home Watch Program is go into the Belton Police Department and fill out a form.
On the form you give them information such as how long you will be gone, if you have any lights on timers and what the timers are set for, as well as cars that are normally in the driveway.
If you have pets at home and have someone coming by to take care of your animals, be sure to list that on the form as well. An officer will come by your house once per shift (every 12 hours) to make sure everything is secure and nothing is amiss.
An additional safety watch that you can be a part of is the police department’s innovative community watch program called E-Watch.
This program allows the Belton Police Department to remain in rapid contact with Belton businesses as well as residents through text messages and email. This way, the residents and businesses are able to receive timely public safety updates regarding issues that concern their neighborhood or business. For instance, the BPD will send out an email or text if your neighborhood is experiencing a sudden amount of vehicle break-ins.
It is the new age equivalent of the traditional Neighborhood Watch, a “cyber” neighborhood watch. The service helps build and strengthen the relationship between the BPD and the community to “reduce crime and improve quality of life for citizens, businesses, and guests.”
Citizens participating in the program have access to various things such as monthly neighborhood AOR Crime Reports, Crime Alerts, Resident Surveys, Crime Prevention Messages, as well as Community Service Messages.
You can sign up for the service and to be part of the E-Watch Program by visiting beltontexas.gov and signing up under the E-Watch Program for either a business or neighborhood.
For the Neighborhood E-Watch Program you will have to sign up under your appropriate district in Belton. The North District is for those who live north of 13th Avenue or the railroad tracks. The Central District is for those residents who live south of 13th Avenue and north of US Highway 190. The South District is designated for those who live south of US Highway 190 and east of Interstate 35.
By participating in both the Home Watch Program and the E-Watch Program, we can help keep Belton and its residents safe not only during the holiday season, but also year-round.